Immigrants in the United States

The United States consists of a lot of immigrants. In 1840s and 1850s, many immigrants flooded into the United States. They were from Ireland or German. In the case of Irish, 3 million people starved because of potato famine in 1845. Most of immigrants lived big city and got a job which does not need specialty technique. Some German promoted new business or engaged in agriculture. In 1860s, immigrants from China increased. Most of them lived in California. They built railways or worked a mine. As many as five million Chinese came to the United States. Some problems happened between first immigrants and Chinese because they have different language, religion and culture. However they got along each other, and new immigrants from China had opportunity to get better jobs, life and land.

In 1870s, immigrants came to the United States from England, the Netherlands, Sweden and Norway. The reason they came was seeking jobs. In 1890s, over six million people came to the United States. They were from Italy, Bulgaria, Poland, Greece and Russia. Immigrants who came from Europe by ship made a landing to the port in New York. From 1892 to 1943, Ellis Island was the entrance. Each immigrant underwent a medical examination and turned in an identification card there. Sometimes over five thousand people passed in a day.

When the number of immigrants increased rapidly, American people were worried that immigrants rob jobs from American or immigrants bring poverty and crime. Then government established some new law which controls immigration into the United States and restricted immigration. To be concrete, they set up a law which refuses immigrants who cannot read and write English to enter into America in 1917, and in 1924, a law which limits the number of immigrants was in force.

The United States established and fixed the system for immigrants in a history. Because of a lot of immigrants, America becomes a biggest country in the world, I think. Japan should start to receive immigrants and set up systems. It may be difficult to live together with other culture or value, but forces of immigrants is necessary to become grater country.



“L’odyssée des émigrants” Nancy Green 1997


by Ayako Ueda

Permanent Residency in the United States

United States Permanent Resident Card is an identification card that shows the permanent resident status of a foreigner in the U.S. It is informally called as “Green Card” because color of the card had been green from 1946 until 1964, and it has got back to that color since May 2010. Green Card gives its holder proof as a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR). Then, the person is officially considered as immigrant and can reside and take employment in the U.S.

There are mainly three ways to get Green Card. First, many people acquire it through their family. People may be eligible if they have an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen, a family member who has already held Green Card, or if they marry a person who has a U.S. citizenship. Second way is through job or offer of employment. The main methods to immigrate based on a job are through job offer, investment, self petition or special categories of jobs. Special categories of jobs mean for example Afghan/Iraqi translator, broadcaster, international organization employee and so on. Third one is Green Card Lottery. Every year, around 50,000 immigrant visas are issued through the Diversity Visa (DV) program, and the lottery is a part of this program. It targets people who were born in countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S. Applicants can be entitled only by their country of birth, not by their citizenship. Anyone who is selected under this lottery will be given opportunity to apply for permanent residence. In addition to that, U.S. government gives chance to refugee and asylum seekers to acquire Green Card.

Green Card gives a chance to foreign people to live their lives in the U.S. However, this system has some problems. One of them is marriage fraud. Criminal cheat and marry someone who has American citizenship to get the right of permanent residency in the U.S. After he/she obtains the right, he/she pronounces divorce on his/her spouse or disappears. The number of crimes like this is increasing every year. In 1990, a movie named “Green Card” was published in the U.S. The story focuses on an American woman. She takes part in a fake marriage with Georges, who is from France and live in the U.S. illegally, to allow him to obtain a Green Card and remain in the United States. Putting this movie on view shows marriage fraud for Green Card is becoming serious problem.

Now, this is a big problem not only in the U.S. but in Canada and other countries that have accepted a lot of immigrants. It is difficult to judge fake marriage or not because it might lead to a kind of invasion of privacy, but the government should improve the system to prevent criminals coming to the country, for example to interview the couple many times, to ask someone who can prove their marriage or something like that.


by Aya Sadahiro

How to apply for an entry visa.

Do you know how to apply an entry visa in Japan? It is very important but complicated procedure for coming into Japan for foreigners. Based on the law for the immigration control refugee authorization, the foreigners who are to get into Japan have to get and prepare a valid passport and a visa which is issued by Japanese government. People can get the visa by the embassy of Japan or the Japanese Consulate General. In addition, they must get visa until coming into Japan because they cannot get them when they have already come in Japan.

There are two patterns to get the visa in terms of the purpose. That means the procedures are different between the case for sightseeing, making a business, seeing acquaintance or relatives, and the case for staying for more than 90 days because of the work. In this blog, I would like to pick up the case for the long stay based on working. First at all, foreigners who plan to come into Japan need to get some necessary documents. There are five classifications of documents in terms of the purpose of entering Japan: vocational visa, general visa, specific visa, diplomatic visa, official visa. For example, in the reception of the candidates for a care worker or nurse based on the economic agreement between the Philippines and Japan, people who want to come to Japan need “specific visa”. They are permitted to stay for only three or four year by the visa, because if they have their medical licenses in their country, they cannot use it in Japan. So, they have to pass the national examination in Japan, otherwise, they have to go back their country. The documents for the specific visa are a passport, an application for the visa, a photograph of the face for certification, and the certificate for the qualification of residing in Japan. However, the candidate for the care worker and nurse cannot get that certificate for the qualification and they must make appointment with government establishments abroad individually. If they can get this certificate, the procedure for visa would be clearer and more simply.

The population of the people who leaves their homes in search of temporary work just goes on being larger. Then, it is natural that the number will be more and more in the future throughout the globalization. However, there are some problems that necessary documents for the migrant workers are not clear. In this illegible stance of Japanese government, we Japanese cannot participate in this problem.  It is important that Japan prepare the clearer and more simply explanations for the visa.


by Sayaka Kurata

Living With Family

    In Japan, almost people have an own family and many families also live together. It is happy for us to live with our families. On the other hands, there are many who take up posts in another city, leaving their families behind in their hometown too. I think that it is very sad even if they can meet frequently. However, in case of immigrants or migrant workers, they cannot meet them families for a long time. How do they feel like the situation.

     Actually, it will not be long before I become similar situation. One of my valuable person leave to Australia to study abroad. I fell very lonely just imagine about we will separated. Of course, we can make contact with each other on e-mail, and talk on the phone. If we use a videophone like skype, we can see our faces. It seems like to meet by the side of him. Although, the fact is we are still separated, so we cannot meet each other whenever we want and touch each other. The technologies take our mind off, but once we find the truth, it made us sadder. I want to beside him ever after.

     When we are separated from valuable people, just like families, we feel very miserable and miss them. I think that it is not enough for us to make contact or talk with the people. The more important thing is living with families. I am sure that almost all people want to live with valuable people, mother, father, brothers, sisters, lovers and so on. However, many immigrants and migrant workers are in difficult situation to live together because of strict regulation for them. The strict regulation need them too much money to get them visas, but it is hard for them, because they have only few money and no sponsors. That is why many of them cannot live with family. I know it is important to save safety and profit from visas. However, I also want to little revision the strict regulation, because families should live together if they want to do so. I wish the day coming soon.

by Erina Hayashi

What Made the Immigrants Youth Explode with the Anger? –about the 2005 riots in France

The 2005 riots in France were sparked by the deaths of two teenagers who were electrocuted during a police chase in the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois. Hundreds of youth roared with anger because a police chase had gone too far, and incited a riot that included attacking the police and vandalism in poor suburbs that were inhabited largely by immigrants from Maghreb, Algeria, and Morocco. Most of rioters were second generation Muslim immigrants. The riots had quickly spread to other towns. During the riots, more than 8973 cars were set on fire and 2888 people were arrested. In general, France was thought to tolerate ethnic minority. However, the riots forced France to confront the anger building for decades among Muslim immigrants who complain of discrimination and inequality.

After two world wars, France opened the door aggressively to greater numbers of immigrants with a great demand for labor, especially from Maghreb. Since the 1970s oil shock, however, its economic situation worsened and the government has started to support tighter immigration measures. Especially, since the 1980s extreme rightists have promoted anti-immigrants sentiments that claim that immigrants have a propensity for violent and that they steal jobs from French people. In addition, since the September 11th terrorist attacks, Muslim immigrants have been considered as a terror and people are concerned about public boundaries. Even though France has the largest Muslim population in Europe, the animosity regarding Muslim immigrants is increasing in the society.

Under the hostile circumstances towards immigrants, they feel socially isolated. The French government constructed housing projects in suburbs while increasing the immigrant population, but those areas became something of a ghetto where low-income immigrants live together. As the segregation between immigrants and mainstream society is becoming worse over time, they really feel frustrated economically and socially. Separating them from the society has led to discrimination and inequality against them. Immigrants who live in suburbs of Paris have, on average, lower incomes, education levels and employment rates than French people.

They are desperately underprivileged and outside mainstream society, and complaints and racial troubles caused by discrimination and inequality have been building up. Above all, while the second generation of Muslim immigrants who are born in France and are provided French education do not feel that they are belonging to a homeland, they cannot integrate into French society while being treated differently because they are an immigrant. It makes youth bear enmity towards French society. In the end, the deaths of two immigrant boys triggered the 2005 riots. They exploded with the anger of social and economical inequalities.

The French suburban riots in 2005 are painful moans and cries to be heard from immigrant youth who are the poorest and least powerful in French society. They have no hope or possibilities for the future in suburbs where youth unemployment, crime, and violence thrive. It is not just a problem in France. There have been similar riots across Europe, like in Greece, Italy and the UK. If immigrants are excluded from the mainstream of society and economically discriminated, riots will continue to occur. They should be accepted as real members of society and given fair opportunities and hope.


by Jeawon Moon

Immigration problem of decrease in the birthrate age in France ~Should Japan accept the immigration?~

  “Although I am disagreeable, there is only this.” The young man who caused the riot by the young men of immigration system of France was talking like this on television. To accept immigration in France starts age of independence of African countries. Why does France have much immigration? The answer is in history. After World War Ⅱ finished, the population decreased sharply. France government decided to accept a lot of immigration to solve worker insufficient problem. The cause which this riot broke out is an economical blunder of second and third immigration by Vietnam War and Algeria war of independence.

Immigration has great influence on the country. After World War Ⅱ finished, a lot of  black persons came to America and black culture was spread by them. Rhythm and blues, lap music and reggae became famous by them. In addition, after Vietnam War finished, a lot of the Puerto Rico system immigration came to New York and Salsa music was spread by them. If Japanese government decides to accept immigration, our culture may change. For example, many Japanese people may speak English fluently.

A decrease in the birthrate appears in advanced nations recent years and a main subject of many development countries government will be immigration problem like an American popular rights movement and the young man riot of France. According to the date “present condition of a decrease in the birthrate and future prospect” of National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, Japanese population of over age 65 will be 20 percent in 2006, it will be 25 percent in 2014 and it will be 30 percent in 2033. In the future, Japan will be the most age people around the world. Cultural communication will become important for Japanese people, because a decrease in the birthrate is progressing in Japan and immigration may be accepted in order to obtain workers. Do you think should Japan accept immigration more?


by Sunao Tanaka

The Homi housing development

In recent years, Japanese population is decreasing due to declining number of children, so there are many people who claim Japan should accept immigrants to get the workforce.  However, accepting immigrants have not only good points but also bad points.  For example, there are many problems between Japanese and Brazilian immigrants in the Homi housing development.

The Homi housing development was built in time of rapid economic growth in Toyota city in Aichi.  Many Brazilian came to Tokai district as immigrants, because there are many manufacturing industry such as auto industry in Aichi.  In 2010, about 9,000 people live there, and 4,000 of whom are Brazilian immigrants.  Many Brazilian has been lived there, so there are many posters which are written in Portuguese.  However, there are many problems which were caused by difference between Japanese culture and Brazilian culture.

Most of Japanese who live there claimed Brazilian people’s manner is very bad.  For example, illegal parking is increasing, they do barbecue at veranda, they often drink and make merry at night and so on.  Many Japanese said “Brazilian immigrants shouldn’t move into here anymore” because Brazilian behaviors make Japanese angry.  On the other hand, Brazilian also complained against Japanese who live there.  Of course, Japanese and Brazilian hope that the Homi housing development become comfortable place for them.

I think they should promote exchanges between Japanese and Brazilian.  Brazilian may not know about Japanese low, so they do illegal parking, and they may not know about Japanese culture, so they think “our manner isn’t bad.”  Japanese also should understand Brazilian culture to make good relation.  I think self-governing body have to hold exchanging party, and they can introduce each other’s culture there.  However, in case of this situation, I felt Brazilian immigrants need more effort to adjust Japanese life style.  There is a proverb such as “When in Rome do as the Romans do.”  They should not only tell about Brazilian culture but also learn about Japanese culture.  Now, most of Japanese approve accepting immigrants, but there are problems such as the Homi housing development.  Should we accept immigrants? What do you think?

by Mari Honda


Migrant Worker and Education in China

Do you recognize what it is? Many children are gathered at small rooftop, and the national flag of China is hoisted in front of them. People call it “the roof top elementary school”. There is no schoolyard, gym and even roof, but children study here every day. Many people are interested in the school.

This school is one of the elementary school for migrant worker. Children of migrant workers from farm village go to this school. This type of school always is in the big city in China, and children study under worse educational circumstance than public elementary school remarkably. The schoolhouse is a building which has four floors. There are many houses and buildings around the school, so it is difficult to find it. The entrance and door are narrow. The school has classrooms, dormitory, and lunchroom, but these are simple rooms which are for living. The schoolhouse is too small for 375 children to study.

Elementary schools for migrant worker in China are run differently, but the school that I told is a general type. It is said that their surrounding improved gradually. However big cities which continue economic growth need labor forces of migrant workers and security system do not reach to migrant workers and their children now. Elementary schools for migrant workers try to make interest of many people and get a lot of support. At present, the project of reconstruction of the elementary school which I told gets ahead surely. It needs three million yen or four million yen.

There are many children who want to study even under harsh condition like this school. My condition to study is not to be compared with them of children of migrant workers, so I think I have to study harder. I hope that reconstruction perfect safely and elementary school for migrant worker improves greatly.




by Ayako Ueda

Repatriation Program

Zainichi Korean (Korean Resident in Japan) has living in Japan since 1910.  In 1945, the emancipation of Korea from Japan after, a lot of Korean did back to motherland, however, about 600thousand Korean people had lived in Japan after emancipation.  They couldn’t went to motherland, because they don’t had a money what Korea – Japan ship had moved in a part of place, so they should needed go to where.  In 1948, two countries are found in Korean peninsula that is Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (D.P.R.K.) and Republic of Korea (ROK). They motherland was cut by cold war regime.

In 1954, D.P.R.K. government was announcement to Zainichi Koreans “You are our country citizen”.  At the next year, Chongryong (the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan) to be organization in Tokyo what support to D.P.R.K. as motherland.  In other side, some Korean made group of ROK supporting as motherland that is Mindan (the Korean Residents Union in Japan).  In 1965, ROK gave ROK citizenship to Zainichi Koreans by Treaty between ROK – Japan however, ROK did a few supports only to Zainichi Koreans.  D.P.R.K. was different.  D.P.R.K. sent money to Zainichi Korean for founding of Korean School.  And D.P.R.K. leader Kim Il-Sung encouraged repatriation to D.P.R.K.  A lot of Koreans had sympathy to D.P.R.K.  At the same time, Japan government disliked Korean, because they ware left wing and they had sympathy of communism.  GHQ (reigned over Japan for 1945 – 1951) had same opinion.

In 1959, D.P.R.K. – Japan negotiated on repatriation of Zainichi Korean, when D.P.R.K. and Japan agreed they opinion; Japan want removal Koreans, D.P.R.K. want manpower for country building. In this time, Repatriation Program was planning.  December 14th 1959, Ship of Repatriation departed from Nigata port that taken about 900 Koreans.  This time after, about 60thousand Zainichi Korean went back to “motherland”, however a lot of Zainichi Koreans real motherland was the present of ROK.  That was continued in 1980s.  Zainichi Korean had kept “Dream” and “Hope”, because D.P.R.K. government did statement “our country is a paradise on the earth”.  And, if they had continued living in Japan, they might have given discriminations from Japanese and Japan government.  Practice, a lot of Korean is giving discriminations from Japan.  In that situation, they thought dream and hope to D.P.R.K.

by Kazuki Baba

How do you think about citizenship?

In this time, I would like to talk about citizenship.


First of all, I tell you about Japan and Korea.  In Japan, from 1985, if you have Japanese mother or father, you can have Japanese citizenship.  Also in Korea, if you have Korean father or mother, you can have Korean citizenship.  Then can you have dual citizenship entire your life?  The answer is NO.  You have to choice the only one citizenship when you will be 22 years old.


Next, I would like to tell you about the U.S.  The U.S can have dual citizenship.  There are many countries that recognize to have two or more citizenship.  For example,  the U.S., Russia, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Peru, France, Italy, Nigeria, the South African Republic, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, the Philippines, and so on.  Because of globalization of recent years, many countries accept dual citizenship.


Is it good to have dual citizenship?  From the sight of moral, I think it is good to have dual citizenship because you have two mother countries.  But from the sight of logical way, I think you should choice the one citizenship.  The reason why I think you should choice the one citizenship is law.

How about military obligation?  In Japan, there is no allegiance to go to military obligation, but in Korea, you have to go to military obligation before you will have been 29 years old.  If you are a guy, and you have Japanese father and Korean mother, what will you do then?  I think it is difficult decision.  So, I think you should choice the one citizenship.

Moreover, how about marriage, franchise, and crimes?  If you have two citizenships, can you marriage to two people?  Can you participate in two countries’ government?  If you are a criminal, which country’s law are you tried by a court?

There are big problem about crimes.  Even though you are kicked out from one of your mother country, as long as you have two passports, you can enter again with the use of one of the other your passport.

From these reasons, I think it is difficult to have dual citizenships.


by Konomi Yamamoto